Do you suspect that your baby or toddler may be teething? This article will guide you through teething symptoms in babies and toddlers, what to expect when it comes to a teething timeline, how to inspect your child’s gums safely, tips for baby teething relief, and advice on when to see a dentist about your child’s teething process.

Baby Teething Symptoms

Teething symptoms in babies and toddlers are often very similar. At any age, signs of teething may include:

  • Red, swollen or bulging gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Flushed cheeks or a facial rash
  • Chewing, gnawing or sucking on their fist or toys
  • Rubbing or pulling their ear on the same side as an erupting tooth
  • Restless sleep and crying at night
  • Difficulty with feeding
  • A fever or diarrhoea

Teething Timeline

Teething at 3 Months

Can your baby grow and cut milk teeth at 3 months old? While the first signs of teething typically occur between 4 and 6 months of age, it’s quite common for teeth to erupt at 3 months old due to heredity. Behaviour such as biting and chewing on fingers and toys can encourage teeth to arrive early.

Typically, the first teeth to erupt are the two in the front bottom (lower central incisors), followed by the upper central incisors and upper lateral incisors at 8 to 12 months. Your baby’s lower lateral incisors will erupt between 10 to 16 months, until they have six teeth in total.

Teething Molars

Your baby’s molars are the last teeth to arrive. While the exact timing will vary from child to child, most first top molars erupt between 13 and 20 months of age. The first bottom molars typically emerge between 14 and 18 months of age.

How Long Will Teething Last?

Teething can last for a year or more. Most children will have their full set of 20 milk teeth by the time they are 3 years old. When they reach 5 or 6, these teeth will start to fall out, creating room for adult teeth.

What Do Teething Gums Look Like?

Make sure your hands and fingers are clean before you examine your baby’s mouth. Peel back your baby’s lip very gently to examine her gums.

Do you see bulging pink gums, especially around the molars, or a small white bud that could be your baby’s first tooth? You might also spot a bluish buildup of fluid called a teething blister or eruption cyst. Although you should avoid touching it, this blister is absolutely normal and will usually go away without treatment. If it does not, speak with your dentist.

Next, gently touch or massage your baby’s gums to feel for a hard tooth growing underneath. This can help provide relief to your baby and help you figure out if they are teething.

Baby Teething Relief

Is your teething baby crying hysterically during the day or at night? If so, you might be wondering about solutions for baby teething relief, how to soothe a teething baby at night, or how you can help them sleep.

There are many simple and homemade ways to soothe a baby’s painful gums. However, if you find that your baby is experiencing a lot of distress, it may be worthwhile to visit your dentist, who can examine your baby’s growing tooth buds and offer personalised advice.

Here are some of the best methods for baby teething relief (that don’t involve using pain relief products or harmful teething gels):

  • Give your baby something cool to bite on to relieve the pressure and ease the pain, such as a clean, damp face cloth (washed in an unscented detergent for sensitive skin, and left in the fridge for 30 minutes).
  • Gently massage your baby’s gums with one or two clean fingers in a circular motion to help numb the pain. This can stimulate the gums and get you both in the habit of daily oral cleaning.
  • Give your baby a teething toy, such as a solid, silicone-based teething ring that has been chilled in the fridge (not frozen in the freezer), to help relieve discomfort.
  • Gently wipe away drool regularly with a soft cloth to avoid skin irritation, adding to your child’s discomfort.

If your baby is six months old or older:

  • Encourage small, frequent sips of icy cold water from a feeding cup or bottle throughout the day.
  • Give them a cold piece of raw fruit or vegetable to chew on, such as a small piece of chilled apple, carrot or cucumber.
  • Offer them a cold liquid such as fruit puree, blended peaches or plain yoghurt to help soothe their gums.

What Should I Do If My Teething Child Has Difficulty With Feeding?

If your baby is breastfeeding, you may discover they feed eagerly at first, then pull back because the sucking action makes their gums and ear canals uncomfortable. If this is the case, wait a few minutes, try some of the methods of baby teething pain relief describe above, and try again until your baby seems satisfied.

If your baby is old enough to eat solids, eating with a spoon while teething can irritate their delicate or inflamed gums. During this time, you may opt to nurse or bottle-feed more often.

When Should I Talk To A Dentist About My Child’s Teething?

If you are worried about your baby’s teething, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A dental examination will help your dentist investigate potential problems and alleviate any fears you may have. Teething is a natural rite of passage for every child, but complications may sometimes emerge. Remember to inform your dentist about the signs and symptoms your baby or toddler has been experiencing, and what steps you have taken to help soothe them.

Need advice about your child’s teething symptoms and help for soothing the pain? Contact the friendly staff at Australia Dental on (07) 3888 9125 or (07) 3284 7112 to book a dental appointment today.